Chesterton Tribune



Public meeting October 25 on proposed Chicago to Columbus passenger rail

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The Northern Indiana Passenger Rail Association (NIPRA) will hold a public meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, on the second floor of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, 162 W. Lincolnway.

The purpose of the meeting: to discuss recent work completed and the next steps in securing funding for a Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail line.

HNTB, a consultant hired to complete an analysis required under federal law in order for the rail project to receive federal funding, will open the meeting with a short presentation. As part of this work, HNTB, in consultation with NIPRA and the Federal Railroad Administration, developed a Purpose and Need Statement, created a Public Involvement Plan, performed an analysis of the route options, developed service alternatives along the preferred route, and performed preliminary engineering to develop high-level cost estimates based on the chosen service alternatives.

This work is being done in several phases, with this one focusing on the corridor between Lima, Ohio, and Gary.

HNTB, NIPRA, and local representatives from the respective communities will then be available to answer questions and take comments in an open house format. The information will include the following: proposed locations for all the train stations, an estimate of the amount of double-tracking that will be needed, possible train schedules, estimated ridership and revenue, and estimated capital costs.

“This work is complementary to and supportive of the work being done by other rail partners to improve passenger rail service throughout Indiana, especially in northwest Indiana where they are actively working to improve regional transportation with commuter and passenger rail,” NIPRA President Rich Juram. “Similar efforts also continue in Ohio to develop this corridor.”

The proposed Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus corridor would provide high-quality passenger rail connections to 100 Midwest cities through a regional rail network offering safe, comfortable, and reliable service with amenities such as wi-fi and food service. Initial plans are for trains to travel at a maximum speed of approximately 79 miles per hour and eventually travel at 110 miles per hour. In many communities along the route, scheduled stops would take place at existing historic train stations.

More information about the Chicago-Fort Wayne-Columbus passenger rail, including the reports produced for this current work, can be found online at



Posted 10/17/2018




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